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Yesterday, at 11.ooam on the 11th of November, thousands of students across Australia observed a minute’s silence to remember those who have died or suffered in wars and armed conflicts. This tradition is an important moment for the many Australians affected by war, and also a way of engaging young people in Australia’s history.
Many of our speakers deal with war in their writing and have sessions dedicated to helping students understand these heavy topics and themes:
In author Ruth Clare’s session The Vietnam War And Its Impact, she opens up about her story of growing up with a father who fought in the Vietnam War but never spoke about it, and explores the psychological repercussions of war on veterans and their families.
Ruth also penned a moving article for The Age this week: Remembrance Day: Mourning the father I lost.
Way Back When Consulting Historians offer a session on their book Annie’s War, a children’s book that explores what life was like for seven-year-old Annie Slade and her family in Kew, Melbourne during World War I.
Illustrator Michael Camilleri’s book One Minute’s Silence (written by David Metzenthen) explores the WW1 experience with comics, maps and technical illustrations of war machinery. His presentation is packed with visuals, including a slideshow reading of the book, snippets of sound effect and animation.
The Poppy by Andrew Plant, a beautiful picture book telling a story of of remembrance and commemoration. In his session, Andrew outlines the story in a non-confronting way for younger students, focusing on the French village of Villers-Bretonneux and Australian National Memorial.
Simon O’Carrigan is a good friend of Booked Out and though he doesn’t do school sessions, he illustrated picture book Never Forget (written by Clare Hallifax) which is a great resource for teachers as a sensitive and historically accurate portrayal of WW1. Simon was inspired by the extraordinary works of Australian artists painting the First World War as it happened around them spent months researching archives for the illustrations for this book.